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Behind Ransom Papi’s Creative Process and Novel Music Enterprise

By Chinonso Kenneth

Meet Ransom Odubia, also known as Ransom Papi, a Nigeria-based performing artist specializing in alternative music, afro highlife, and rhythm and blues (R&B) music.

ABUJA, Nigeria. 

My name is Ransom Papi, Upcoming Sugar Zaddy, Mount Zion Baby, Nwachukwu Ransom,” the charming Corolla crooner says with a grin stretched across his face.

Meet Ransom Odubia, also known as Ransom Papi, a Nigeria-based performing artist specializing in alternative music, afro highlife, and rhythm and blues (R&B) music. He was also a part of the original Kabusa Oriental Chior – a music rendition group that shot to fame during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown in Nigeria.

As a 12-year-old, Ransom Papi would abandon house chores and follow the sound of church choirs rehearsing nearby. He always found it fascinating, the coherence and rhythm of choirs.

“I will be at home helping my mom with chores and a church will be rehearsing songs for Sunday service close to the house and once I hear that, it’s like I’m possessed, I will leave everything and go,” Ransom Papi says.

He later joined the children's choir in Assemblies of God Church in Niger state. Here, he really began exploring his musical side and learned how to play the piano, drums, and guitar. In 2015, he reached out to Micheal Bama, an old classmate and music producer who was managing Kuti Studios at the time.

“I reached out to Bama in 2015 when I was out of school and jobless, telling him how I wanted to harness my creativity in music. He was really kind and immediately invited me to come over. Bama literally taught me how to produce music, introduced me to people, and taught me other life skills such as mannerisms and how to present yourself,” Ransom Papi told Erato Magazine.

Fast forward to 2024, Ransom Papi is now a renowned music producer, singer, songwriter, and video director with a fast-expanding fan base both within and outside Nigeria. His debut project, an extended play (EP) titled The Baby Boy Lifestyle has been streamed over 11, 000 times and his music videos have over 3,000 views on YouTube.

Ransom Papi
Ransom Papi. Photo Credit: Arshavin John

The Baby Boy Lifestyle, a self-care and enjoyment-themed EP, released in 2021 has five tracks laced with relatable lyrics and feel-good sounds, perfect for a weekend mood.

“I’m a strong believer in self-care, even though I don’t get the opportunity to observe it all the time. I believe in using what is within your means to make yourself happy,” Ransom Papi says. “In the Baby Boy Lifestyle EP, I talk about very common things that could give one excitement, things you don’t have to break the bank for.”

Self-care and enjoyment are always present in all of Ransom Papi’s songs. His recent song, 'Dif3nt', affirms his freedom from stress, his alternative lifestyle, and his divine connection to God. He describes the video, which he co-directed and produced, as simple but creative.

“The whole concept of 'Dif3nt' is first to inspire and then communicate my absolute trust in God,” he says.

His religious beliefs play a prominent role not only in his everyday life, but also in his creative process. The "extra factor" that refines his music and production skills into something special, he explains, is his relationship with Jesus Christ. According to the artist, it is what allows him tap into a divine creator's energy. This speaks to his Christian background and early formative values.

Aside from God, Ransom Papi also draws inspiration from his melancholic moods.

“I create my best beats when I’m angry or in a foul mood, I just put all that negative energy into making a great beat, I’ve created a lot of good beats from that but that’s not to say I enjoy being in a foul mood," he says.

“For creating a song, I like being in the studio by myself because I’m able to access all my thoughts and express them accordingly. I believe that beats and instrumentals are saying something and I like to listen to what they are saying and then write accordingly."

This is why some of his songs, such as Mr DJ or Lonely, demand that listeners dance. Others, such as Maliya, elicit emotions of heartbreak or love.

In 2023, Ransom Papi founded the Motherland Creative Hub – an artistic space for creatives in Abuja to engender collaboration and inspiration among a network and collective of like minds.

“You look at the likes of Odumodublvck, who have shown us the power of team spirit, what it means to have your friends doing your videos, doing your graphics, going with you on stage, so we at Motherland we are trying to foster that collaborative mentality,” he tells Erato Magazine.

Staffed with a full team of music producers, cinematographers, and photographers as well as painters, Motherland Creative Hub is currently producing several fast-rising artists in Abuja such as Ola Musique, Naeracks, Vicki Samdave, and Guka.

Ransom Papi is also working on a new music project for 2024. He tells Erato Magazine exclusively that his next album titled Mount Zion Baby is 80% done and can be expected on May 27th, 2024.

“I’m doing more collaborative projects with other artists now and I’ve started to carry my culture along. I’m from Igede in Benue state Nigeria and what I’m pushing now is the quality of my music, my faith in Jesus Christ, my friends and family and the love of my culture,” Ransom Papi said.


About the Writer

Chinonso Kenneth Onwurah is a constructive journalist, development policy analyst, advocacy and communications consultant based in Abuja Nigeria. Chinonso has a Master’s degree in Political Economy and Development studies and has worked with several non-profit and media organisations across Africa.


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